Author Archives: Darrell Proctor

Technology Boosts Reliability of Power Plants Despite Shifting Business Foundations

There is no industry more concerned with continuity of service than the power industry. Maintaining power supply to constituents is the critical mandate of every plant, whether harnessing energy from the sun, wind, water, coal, or nuclear sources. While consistency is a top priority, the plants themselves are often in a state of flux due […]


Severe Modulation in Feedwater-Control Valves Reveals Need for Periodic Calibration

Some combined cycle plants have two feedwater-control valves: a small startup valve with the extra cavitation protection needed during startup and low-load operations, and a larger main valve with the high flow capacity needed during full-load ops. This design is intended to yield a longer service life of these valves. However, as the plant ages, […]

California Governor Wants ‘Strike Team’ to Develop Utility Plan

California Governor Gavin Newsom on February 12 said the state has formed a “strike team” as it works to develop plans to help not only utility ratepayers but also utility employees. The move comes in the wake of the bankruptcy filing by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) as the state’s largest utility deals with its […]

The ‘Green New Deal’ Out West

COMMENTARY Launched last week by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “Green New Deal” appears to pick up where President Franklin Roosevelt left off with his “Second Bill of Rights” announced in his 1944 State of the Union Address1. More manifesto than mandate, the Green New Deal seeks to be a lens through which legislators’ […]

Iraqi Official Casts Doubt on Deals With GE, Siemens

Multibillion-dollar energy deals that both Siemens and General Electric (GE) signed with the Iraqi government last year may not come to fruition, according to the country’s electricity minister. The Financial Times on February 10 reported that Luay Al-Khatteeb, who took his post late last year after the deals were brokered, told the newspaper, “I don’t […]

NIPSCO Announces Three New Indiana Wind Farms

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO), which is phasing out coal-fired power as part of its “Your Energy, Your Future” plan announced late last year, on Feb. 1 said it will develop three new wind farm projects in the state that will add about 800 MW of renewable power generation capacity to its portfolio. The […]

PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, Prepares to Reorganize

California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 29, as the company faces as much as $30 billion in potential liabilities for its role in a series of wildfires in the state. The filing was expected after the company notified its workers two weeks ago it was preparing a […]

Consortium Asks UK to Support SMR Nuclear Development

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are becoming a technology of choice among those who continue to push nuclear power as a zero-emissions source of generation. The collapse of plans to build new large reactors in the UK has meant companies there are looking at SMRs in an effort to keep that country’s nuclear power program viable. […]

PG&E Stock Rises After Agency Says No Role in 2017 Fire

Shares of beleaguered California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) soared on Jan. 24 after a state agency said the company bore no responsibility for a 2017 wildfire in the state. A statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) on Thursday said, “After an extensive and thorough investigation, Cal Fire […]

PSEG: Nuclear Plants Will Soon Close Without Subsidies

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) has again told New Jersey officials it needs subsidies to continue operating its three nuclear power units in the state, reiterating that without financial help it will begin closing its Hope Creek Generating Station and Salem Nuclear Power Plant as early as 2022. The three reactors are the only remaining […]